Family Promise Receives $500,000 through Gerstner Philanthropies’ Helping Hands Program to Strengthen Homelessness Prevention & Shelter Diversion Practices 

Family holding hands with backs to camera

March 10, 2023

For a second year, Family Promise received a $500,000 Gerstner Philanthropies Helping Hands grant.  The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Fund at Vanguard Charitable awarded the grant, which will enable Family Promise Affiliates to provide direct assistance to families with a one-time, emergency need so they can remain housed and avoid the trauma of homelessness and shelter.   

Family Promise is excited to enter this second year of partnership with Gerstner Philanthropies, helping 30 Affiliates grow and strengthen their innovative prevention and diversion practices.   The lack of affordable housing, job loss, cost of living increases, and housing market inflation have left many families struggling to make ends meet and the demand for emergency financial assistance has ballooned. In 2022, the Helping Hands grant made an incredible impact on hundreds of families across the country and the 2023 grant will help even more families in need.  One Family Promise executive director, whose Affiliate received a 2022 Helping Hands grant, said, “We were able to help a family identify housing in a market that had nothing! This took lots of legwork but was successful at the end of it all.  We helped her with rent and security deposit to get her and her two kids safely housed.”   

Through the 2023 grant, Family Promise will award $15,000 grants to thirty Family Promise Affiliates.  Affiliates will use these grants to distribute funds directly to the families they serve for unexpected, emergency needs including rent, utilities, furniture, transportation, medical expenses, and childcare.  

“Family Promise works with families at all stages of a housing crisis, but the surest solution to homelessness is prevention. The shortage of affordable housing today makes this more critical than ever,” said Family Promise CEO Cheryl Schuch. “Thanks to the generosity of Gerstner Philanthropies’ Helping Hands grants, children and families facing homelessness can avoid that trauma and focus on regaining stability and security.” 

In 2022, Family Promise Affiliates diverted 530 families from entering shelter and experiencing homelessness, with nearly 400 of these families receiving a Helping Hands grant as part of their diversion services; in 2023, Gerstner Philanthropies and Family Promise expect to prevent 500 more episodes of homelessness through the Helping Hands program. 

Kara Klein, Executive Director of Gerstner Philanthropies, shares that “Our partnership with Family Promise has been an integral part in our work to expand the reach of the Helping Hands Program. We are proud to support the impressive work their Affiliates are doing to assist families in regaining and maintaining stability through their moments of crisis and look forward to learning more in Year 2 of our partnership.”  

The following Affiliates will receive 2023 Helping Hands Grants:

  • Family Promise in Anoka County
  • Family Promise Montco PA
  • Family Promise of Athens
  • Family Promise of Bell County
  • Family Promise of Delaware County OH
  • Family Promise of Essex County
  • Family Promise of Gainesville
  • Family Promise of Grand Rapids
  • Family Promise of Greater Concord
  • Family Promise of Greater Helena
  • Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis
  • Family Promise of Greater Wichita
  • Family Promise of Hawaii
  • Family Promise of Hendricks County
  • Family Promise of Hudson County
  • Family Promise of Lake Houston
  • Family Promise of Lawrence
  • Family Promise of Monmouth County
  • Family Promise of Montgomery County
  • Family Promise of Morris County
  • Family Promise of Philadelphia
  • Family Promise of Skagit Valley
  • Family Promise of Spokane
  • Family Promise of St. Tammany
  • Family Promise of Sussex County
  • Family Promise of the Palouse
  • Family Promise of the South Bay
  • Family Promise of Tualatin Valley
  • Family Promise of Waukesha County
  • Fort Bend Family Promise

About Gerstner Philanthropies 

Gerstner Philanthropies was founded by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. and includes the Gerstner Family Foundation, founded in 1989, and other philanthropic vehicles of Mr. Gerstner and his family. Focused on supporting organizations across four major program areas—biomedical research, educational opportunities, environmental sustainability, and assistance for people who have suffered a temporary setback and could use a “helping hand” to restore their equilibrium—Gerstner Philanthropies has made over $200 million in grants since inception. 

About Family Promise 

Family Promise envisions a nation in which every family has a home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future. What began as a local initiative in Summit, NJ, has become a national movement with volunteers in 200+ communities in 43 states. Family Promise delivers innovative solutions for family homelessness including prevention, shelter, and stabilization services. We have served more than one million family members since our founding more than 30 years ago, and we aspire to change the future for one million children by 2030 through our community-based programs. More info can be found at

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